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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Despite the unusual and challenging circumstances under which the race is being held, at least Paris-Nice has delivered the action in its first two days so far.
Monday’s stage 2 offered another action-packed finale that saw echelons form in the crosswinds, with plenty of movement on the overall leaderboard despite the flat profile.
Giacomo Nizzolo outsprinted Pascal Ackermann for the stage victory, with Sergio Higuita and Vincenzo Nibali among the GC riders picking up time on their rivals on the day. Nairo Quintana, who crashed late in the stage, and Julian Alaphilippe were among those losing time.
Elsewhere in the news world, Astana’s riders and staff have apparently not been paid in two months. It’s not the first time this has happened for the team, but management says things should be resolved soon.
Until next time, readers.
| Nizzolo wins Paris-Nice stage 2
Giacomo Nizzolo nabbed his second WorldTour victory of the season on Monday’s second stage of Paris-Nice, which featured plenty of drama despite its flat profile and sprint finish.
Crosswinds wreaked havoc on the peloton inside the final 35 kilometers of the stage, with echelons forming and leaving some big names working to limit their losses. Nairo Quintana’s GC chances took a severe blow when he crashed with around 25 kilometers to go, while Julian Alaphilippe was also caught out and joined Quintana in a group of chasers that ultimately finished over a minute down.
At the head of the race, a small group opened a gap inside the last 10 kilometers and held on to sprint for the victory. Despite a Bora-Hansgrohe numbers advantage, Nizzolo sailed past Pascal Ackermann to take the win. Ackermann settled for second with Jasper Stuyven in third. Stage 1 winner Max Schachmann remains in the race lead with six days to go.
Paris-Nice stage 2 results
1. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling 3:49:57
2. Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
| Astana riders and staff have not been paid for two months
AS reported on Monday that riders and staff at Astana have not been paid for two months, and the team soon confirmed the delay in a statement from general manager Alexandre Vinokourov and managing director Yana Seel.
“As we are being sponsored by official government organization sometimes there is a delay of payment due to slow administrative processing of the funds approval,” read the joint statement. “Last week our Team received official confirmation that the problem will be solved by the end of this week and we will get the funds to cover February and March wages.”
| Vogel and Pidcock to team up for Cape Epic
Mountain bike veteran Florian Vogel will pair up with versatile youngster Tom Pidcock – who rode to second in his debut with the elites at cyclocross Worlds this February – for this year’s Absa Cape Epic.
2020 will mark Pidock’s Cape Epic debut and Vogel’s first start there since 2013, when he rode alongside Nino Schurter.
| Ten Dam joins Specialized
After retiring from WorldTour road racing, Laurens ten Dam has set his sights on gravel events, and he will now be racing them for Specialized.
Gravel races on the calendar for the 39-year-old Dutchman this season include Dirty Kanza and the Belgian Waffle Ride.
| Cyclestream TV will livestream Gila, Redlands
Cyclestream TV has announced that it will provide free livestreaming for both the Tour of the Gila and the Redlands Bicycle Classic this year after a pilot program streaming Redlands in 2019.
Both streams will be offered in 4k.
| Colorado Classic names host cities
Although courses have yet to be finalized, the Colorado Classic has announced its host cities for 2020.
The four-day race will visit Snowmass Village on stage 1, Avon on stage 2, Boulder on stage 3, and Denver on stage 4.
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Coronavirus concerns are having a big impact on global supply chains, and that includes the bike business.
| Freewheeling Podcast: Rocking the boat
In the latest episode of Freewheeling, Abby Mickey covers the busy news week with Loren Rowney and talks about the difficult realities for women in cycling with Molly Weaver.
Today’s featured image of Giacomo Nizzolo winning stage 2 of Paris-Nice comes from Cor Vos.